Sports

Renowned Stanford diving coach announces his retirement

Dr. Rick Schavone, one of the nation's premier diving instructors, announced his retirement Thursday after 36 seasons as Stanford's head coach.

Dr. Schavone is the architect of a Cardinal diving program that he took to unprecedented heights during his time on The Farm.

"I knew the time was coming. I'll be 65-years old in a month, so I decided the time is now," Schavone said. "I've been very lucky to spend 36 years at a great university coaching some amazing student-athletes. I want to thank all the Stanford divers for a wonderful rewarding journey. I hope that I've added something to their lives, for I can assure you they have to mine."

Taking over a program that was once an afterthought when he first started in the 1970s, Schavone has molded Stanford into one of the top all-around diving programs in the nation. A four-time NCAA Diving Coach of the Year (1992, 1993, 2007, 2013), Schavone is also nine-time recipient of the Pac-12 Diving Coach of the Year award (1995 - men, 1995 - women, 1997 - women, 1999 - women, 2000 - women, 2007 - women, 2008 - women, 2013 - men, 2014 - men).

"Rick has meant so much to our diving program, athletics department and Stanford University," said Bernard Muir, Stanford's Director of Athletics. "His service helped define a program and the values of its many student-athletes."

Dr. Schavone served on Team USA's Olympic coaching staff at the 2012 Olympics after two of his divers earned their first Olympic nods. Kristian Ipsen won the 3-meter synchro and Cassidy Krug won the individual 3-meter event at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Krug was seventh off the 3-meter springboard at the 2012 Olympics.

Ispen went on to win the bronze medal in his respective event at the 2012 Olympics with partner Troy Dumais. The duo's medal, along with David Boudia and his partner Nicholas McCrory's bronze in the synchronized 10-meter platform, were the first Olympic medals of any kind for the United States in diving since 2000.

Dr. Schavone was tabbed to coach Team USA and Ipsen at the 2013 FINA World Championships.

"Rick has achieved so much greatness as a coach for not only Stanford but at the national and international level," said Ted Knapp, head coach of the men's swim team. "His admiration extends throughout the entire diving community. But not only do I admire him for his coaching accomplishments and the legacy he leaves here at Stanford, I more importantly respect and honor him as a person. You could not ask for a better person to be a friend, colleague and mentor. He will be missed in many, many ways."

Women's head swimming coach Greg Meehan concurred.

"Rick is an icon in the aquatics world and his amazing accomplishments speak for themselves," Meehan said. "I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside him. For the past two years I have learned a tremendous amount from Rick about coaching and coaching at Stanford. Because of this, I'm filled with mixed emotions. I'm incredibly excited for Rick as he embarks on the next stage of his life, and at the same time, I'm very sad because I won't see my friend every day. On behalf of the women's swimming and diving program, we wish Rick the very best."

Dr. Schavone led an unprecedented four Stanford divers to the 2013 NCAA Championships, as Ipsen was named the 2013 NCAA Diver of the Year after winning the springboard events and took second in the platform. The Cardinal diving corps made it a no-brainer for the committee to name Dr. Schavone the NCAA Diving Coach of the Year. He also earned the 2013 Pac-12 Men's Diving Coach of the Year award as Ipsen was named Men's Diver of the Year. Dr. Schavone is one of the only individuals to twice be named the Pac-12 and NCAA diving coach of the year in the same season, having also earned the distinction in 2007.

Ipsen, who swept the springboard events at the Pac-12, NCAA Zone and NCAA Championships, posted an NCAA meet record in the 1-meter. The performance was good for Stanford's second 1-meter title in program history. Ipsen joined Ed Throndsen with the distinction, as Throndsen copped the honor with a 109.20 for the 1930 title.

Dr. Schavone has coached men and women divers to 18 team national championships (9 - NCAA men's, 8 - NCAA women's, 1- AIAW women's), 50 conference team championships, 40 individual Pac-12 titles and 92 All-America honors. Schavone has coached at least one All-American diver in 30 of the past 32 seasons.

Dr. Schavone has coached NCAA champions in 2013 (Ipsen - 1-meter, 3-meter) 2012 (Ipsen - 3-meter), 2007 (Cassidy Krug - 1- and 3-meter), 2001 (Erin Sones - platform), 1995 (Eileen Richetelli - platform), 1993 (Richetelli - platform and 3-meter), 1992 (Richetelli - platform and 3-meter) and NCAA runners-up in 2013 (Ipsen - platform), 2012 (Ipsen - 1-meter), 2008 (Meg Hostage - platform), 1996 (Megan Gardner - platform), 1994 (Gardner - platform) and 1992 (Kristen Jensen - platform).

In addition to his work at Stanford, Dr. Schavone has served as the head coach for several United States diving teams. Top events in which he has coached include the 2006 FINA World Cup in China, competitions in Rome and Vienna with the U.S. National Team in 1999, the 1997 World University Games in Sicily and the 1990 Goodwill Games.

Dr. Schavone is one of the few coaches nationwide to coach at the past seven U.S. Olympic trials (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012).

Dr. Schavone has also held many positions with USA Diving and received the prestigious Whosam Award in 2003, given annually to a coach that adheres to the highest standards of physical and mental well-being. The award is given annually in honor of Sammy Lee, a 1948 and 1952 Olympic gold medalist, and long-time diving coach.

Dr. Schavone has developed Stanford Diving into one of the top age-group diving programs in the nation, coaching eight age-group national champions. He was selected as USA Diving's Coach of the Year in 1984, an award that honored his work with divers between the ages of 12-17.

One of the few Ph.D. holders in his profession, Schavone was introduced to Stanford in 1975 as a graduate assistant to veteran coach Clyde Devine. Schavone was named head diving coach on The Farm in 1977 and completed his Ph.D. at Stanford in 1978. After leaving Stanford to become the head diving coach at Princeton for one season (1978-79), Dr. Schavone returned at the beginning of the 1979-80 campaign.

A 1971 graduate of New Hampshire, Schavone resides on the Stanford campus. He will be inducted into the University of New Hampshire's Hall of Fame later this summer.

— Brett Moore/Stanford Athletics

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